Tortoise not Hare

by Andrew Turner
(Roi-Et . Thailand)

When I was Fifty I ran my only marathon to date.


More by luck than good judgement I won my age group in 2.59.19 but hit wall at 22 miles and had to take a short walk to muster resources for the finish.

I now wish to do my final Marathon and hope to win my age group (65+) again. Looking at past records of the race, I intend to run, I need to have a time of 3h 20m.

How can I decide if this is realistic as a target?

When I did my previous marathon there is no way that I could do a 10K or 5K in times suggested to convert to a sub 3hour marathon time in usual methods for deciding targets. I simply cannot run that quickly.

I have spent 6 months building base fitness and run 10K six days a week sometimes at near 3h 20m marathon pace.
I sometimes think that 42K seems a long way at that speed but was able to do it on much less training at age 50.

I have injured myself twice by trying to train doing quick intervals. As a result I now do 1.5 K sessions during my 10k runs at a little over marathon pace.

I know the answer to my question is to train the best I can and suck it and see but have you encountered the situation where people cannot run fast but can plug away at reasonable speed as I can?

- Andrew Turner

There are plenty of people like you Andrew, who can't do a lot of speed work, but can maintain a solid pace for a long time. That is the essence of the marathon. Lock onto a good pace and run a great race.

My suggestion is heart-rate monitor training. This way you can focus on what heart rate you are at instead of holding onto a quick pace.

If you don't want to go that route, you can still do workouts that are long, but you vary your pace as you go. Some of the long run will be near or slightly under your marathon race pace goals, but nothing too quick that would hurt you.

Either way, I suggest following the 100 Day Marathon Plan because the schedule that you can follow won't work you too fast, but will get you in tremendous shape. The plan is a detailed schedule that will help you get tremendously fit without breaking you down.

Take care - Dave

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog
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